FIRE chiefs are to abandon the traditional "brigade" title in favour of the term "service" to better reflect their changing role.

Durham's chief fire officer George Herbert is recommending that members of the county fire authority approve the amended title at their meeting on Friday.

His call follows advice in the Government's White Paper, Our Fire and Rescue Service, which states that is the best term to define the role played by modern firefighters.

Mr Herbert said other brigades in the region have either made the change or are in the process of renaming themselves.

Should the authority approve the change, the brigade will be known as County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr Herbert said changes to insignia, badges and letterheads would be phased in over a period of time to keep the cost of the change to a minimum.